A Small Business Owners Guide to Setting Meaningful Goals
October 3, 2022
You’ve spent time and energy growing your business. When it comes to work, you cross one finish line after another. Sure, you get a daily sense of accomplishment, but you can also hit “the arrival fallacy” - where you enter into a state of sadness after reaching a goal. This state can bring you to a halt. So, what’s the solution? Luckily, you can avoid this state and feel the motivation to keep going! The secret is in continuous goals that get you excited about your business and bring meaning to your life.
What do you want to achieve in the future?
Most small business owners think about goals only in terms of the numbers: more sales, more customers, more money. That's okay if numbers are what motivate you. But what if you want a more fulfilling and rewarding business life? How do you set meaningful goals - the kind that makes you want to jump out of bed each morning? Try these strategies:
Think about what’s important to you. Go beyond business: what work/life balance do you want to have?
Consider: family, community life, service, spirituality, fitness
How can you shape your business so that it supports your work/life balance desires? What’s your objective? For your best results, the objective should be inspirational, ambitious, and qualitative. It should describe an outcome that you look forward to with excitement.
Think about your business plan. How can your business best support the lifestyle you want?
Consider both your immediate and long-term goals.
Use measurable benchmarks (“key results”) to track progress towards each goal. Key results are measurable and quantitative. The key results are the specific, measurable part of the goal-setting - the steps that make things achievable. What key results will you need to hit in order to achieve your inspirational objectives?
Set 3-4 measurable results based on growth, performance, revenue, or engagement. How can you bring that into your daily, weekly and monthly routine/activities? What tasks need to be done on the micro scale?
Make quarterly and annual time deadlines for your key results.
Check in with your goals in a timely manner
Daily. What are 3-5 things you can do each day that bring you towards your goals? Make these your daily non-negotiables.
Weekly. How can you measure your progress weekly? Set aside time each week to reflect about progress towards your goals.
Quarterly. Review the past 3 months - how did you do? This is the time to check your progress then refine and adapt your goals for the months to come.
Embrace the Process
Setting goals doesn’t have to feel like a chore! Let yourself dream. Imagine your best, most satisfying life. What do you do each day? What would your perfect day be like? What are you feeling? Who are you with? These are your inspirational goals. Then, determine specific actions you can take that will lead you to these goals. Lastly, follow your plan and enjoy the results!
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Laura Olson-Oxley is an entrepreneur, coach, speaker, marketing and business consultant, and sales professional. She has over 25 years experience working with small businesses in a variety of industries, focusing on strategic business growth through effective marketing and advertising. Also a strategist, numbers nut, project manager, and life-long learner, Laura looks at the big picture to analyze and recommend the most effective tools to take businesses to the Next Level.
Laura Olson-Oxley is an entrepreneur, coach, speaker, marketing and business consultant, and sales professional. She has over 25 years of experience working with small businesses in a variety of industries, focusing on strategic business growth through effective marketing and advertising. Also a strategist, numbers nut, project manager, and life-long learner, Laura looks at the big picture to analyze and recommend the most effective tools to take businesses to the Next Level.
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